Electric vehicles (EVs) are expected to rapidly increase from less than 1% of the global automotive fleet to over 30% by 2050 reaching over 670 million units. To achieve this transition will require lithium and cobalt production to grow by 500% if no innovative technologies are developed. We will need to build out our current network of just over 42,000 charging stations to over 500,000 by 2035 and we will need an evolution in higher density lithium batteries. This all requires extensive additions of renewable electricity likely in the form of off-shore wind as well as access to critical earth minerals dominated by the control of China.

Critical Minerals & the Electric Vehicle Transition
Nelson Falkenburg

The production of a typical lithium-ion battery requires five minerals dubbed "critical minerals" by the USGS - lithium, cobalt, manganese, nickel, and graphite. These critical minerals each face potentially significant supply chain bottlenecks and disruptions, such as: inadequate supply, dominance by select countries in production and refining, an oligopoly of producers, and more. Additionally, the extraction of critical minerals includes environmental and socio-political impacts that must be addressed for a sustainable and just EV transition. 

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